Morphic tutorial

Alan Kay Alan.Kay at
Wed Feb 5 14:37:28 UTC 2003

Actually, I'm not "one of the greatest programmers that ever wrote a 
line of code", but I do like to design languages, and the ones that 
have come alive have been made by some of the greatest programmers 
that ever wrote a line of code ...

There are a few things that may help. First, the etoy system on is primarily for children and seems to have enough 
documetation for quite a few who have tried it (but not everyone). 
Kim Rose and BJ Conn have written a project curriculum book which 
should be available in a few months and should help. However, quite a 
bit of stuff can be done here in the UI realm, which then can be 
augmented by extended programming in Squeak ...

Second, there is a variety of documentation available for Morphic -- 
but not comprehensive enough for everyone. A good ploy might be to 
take apart some existing artifacts to see how they were put together. 
You could also try BobsUI to see what it does.

Morphic menus are morphs, so they can just be picked up to move them.




At 6:58 PM -0800 2/4/03, Just4Fun wrote:
>I was actually pretty excited when I first ran across Squeak. Wow! A
>system that would perform on ANY platform and had a nice "click and
>create" user interface. I've used many programming languages and I tend
>to lose interest due to the arduous "under the hood" coding. I've also
>used authoring systems that don't really give me the control that I
>would like to have. Now squeak looks promising...but, the lack of good
>documentation has left me yearning. It seems like with the number of
>educators that seem to be using Squeak, we would have some excellent
>documentation in this community.
>I did find a book titled "Squeak:A Quick Trip to ObjectLand". I forked
>out the $40.00 and purchased the book. It is a good book. It certainly
>deals with the language on a level that a beginner can understand, but
>so far, it doesn't really address the use of Squeak using Morphic as in
>Etoys. Now, maybe I'm way off base but I thought that one could program
>Squeak through Morphic (click and make programs), then view the scripts
>through Etoys' Morphic interface as well. I'm still trying to understand
>the scripting behind the included games samples. Frankly, if I have to
>give Squeak a year to figure out, I'll go back to Visual Basic or C and
>put my year's worth of energy there since I've already invested time and
>money with those languages.  I had hoped to use Squeak to develop on my
>J-720, but after fighting for days to get Morphic installed, when I was
>finally successful(Thanks to Dean and Andreas,Ned and Aaron), I found
>that the Morphic popup menus are cut off by my J-720's shortened screen
>real-estate. Is anyone aware of a way to scroll down to the bottom of
>these menus using the J-720?
>I also wonder if there are any commercial applications that have been or
>are being developed using Squeak or is the VM just too large to make it
>realistic to use in embedded applications.
>I know this email is all over the board, but I can sure relate to the
>sense of frustration that others are voicing over the lack of written
>documentation to accompany Squeak.
>Alan Kay is probably one of the greatest programmers that ever wrote a
>line of code. I sure wish that this language could become more widely
>known and supported.  Just my 2 cents...
>Incidentally, AARP had a nice little side bar regarding Alan Kay and the
>Squeak language. Did anyone else catch it?


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